The Law Offices of Brandee J.K. Faria, LLLC
Doctors often misdiagnose these conditions
Doctors often misdiagnose these conditions

Doctors often misdiagnose these conditions

Dec 19, 2023 | Class Actions

When you seek medical care from a primary care physician or a doctor in a Hawaiian hospital, you entrust your health to the system and can expect several things to happen. First, all medical team members can be expected to provide quality care according to state laws and accepted safety standards. Next, you can expect the doctor to properly diagnose symptoms or to recommend a specialist for further care if he or she is not skilled enough to address the issue.

Missed diagnosis is problematic throughout the state. This is a separate issue from misdiagnosis, which means a diagnosis for one condition when you have another. A missed diagnosis occurs when a doctor fails to diagnose a health problem. For example, if you go to the doctor because you have stomach pains and he or she tells you to go home and rest because you likely have a minor virus, then you later learn (due to your condition worsening) that you were having an appendicitis attack, this is a missed diagnosis.

A misdiagnosis can place your life at risk

If a physician fails to diagnose a medical problem, your condition might worsen, placing your life at risk in certain situations. The following list shows conditions that doctors in Hawaii and elsewhere often overlook:

  • Sepsis
  • Heart attack
  • Pulmonary embolism
  • Bladder, breast, lung or prostate cancer
  • Stroke
  • Pneumonia
  • Kidney failure

Numerous health conditions may share similar symptoms, making a proper diagnosis challenging. However, the average doctor should be able to recognize symptoms of ill-health, including red flag issues that indicate the conditions mentioned in this list.

Common causes of missdiagnoses

If you go to an emergency room complaining of head pain after a car accident and the attending physician does not order a scan to rule out brain injury, this could lead to a missed diagnosis. Ordering the wrong test or failing to order a test at all are common causes of a missed diagnosis. A physician might fail to diagnose your condition properly if you do not inform him or her of your symptoms.

Radiological mistakes can also trigger a missed diagnosis. Miscommunication is another problem that can place your health and safety at risk. For instance, if you test positive for a specific bacterium, but the lab technician mistakenly reports the results as negative or accidentally gives your doctor another patient’s results by mistake, this can cause a missed diagnosis and could possibly cause a life-threatening situation.

Seeking justice against medical malpractice

Hawaii law entitles a medical patient who has suffered an injury due to a missed diagnosis to seek justice by filing a medical malpractice claim in civil court. In some cases, when a fatality has occurred, the state allows an immediate family member to act on behalf of a decedent in court.